Competition Win : On the Premises


Yesterday I received an email from the lovely people at On the Premises online fiction magazine, telling me that I had won their recent mini-contest to write a 50 word story with the theme ‘ten’ or ‘tenth’. You’ll discover the relevance of the above photo if you read the story.

As there were 126 entries, I’m pretty chuffed to have won, so thank you On the Premises!

See HERE to read my story, the wonderful runners up and honourable mentions.

As a side note, I found the competition on Cathy’s Comps and Calls, a great site for all fiction writers, so if you want to enter short story or poetry competitions but don’t have the energy to trawl the net searching for them, you could do worse than subscribe to Cathy’s blog.



Competition Win : Esther Newton Short Story Prize.

Chess pawn wearing a gold crown

Image : Pixabay

I like the discipline of entering a short story competition – deadlines to keep, word counts to adhere to, themes to inspire (or frustrate).

They’re good for the writing muscles, even though success is often elusive.

When you receive yet another rejection (or when you hear nothing but yourself hitting refresh on your emails, searching for a message that never comes), you remind yourself that these things are subjective.

That your stunningly provocative tale about a ginger Tom sporting a bowler and plus fours might have hit the judge’s desk on the very day he / she discovered they have a potentially fatal cat allergy and their Nana’s just been knocked down by a runaway lorry, buried alive under its load of hard, domed hats and knee length trousers.  

And yes, you tell yourself that rejections are badges of honour to wear with pride – even if you do wonder how many such ‘badges’ you have to wear before someone gives you the one that reads ‘winner’.

And this is all very well and good and yes you know ‘J.K Rowling was rejected fifty squillion times before she was published’ but in the end she was quite nicely compensated for all that and by the way, when’s she going to move over and let someone else have a go?

However, amid the slew of rejections, the deafening silence that means ‘thanks but no thanks’, there is light shimmering in the grey.

A couple of weeks ago, I entered a competition run by author and tutor for The Writers Bureau, Esther Newton. The competition was on the theme of The Discovery and last week I discovered I’d been shortlisted. Lovely to be shortlisted and by someone so experienced and knowledgeable – delightful.

Yesterday, Esther announced the winning stories and … my story

Under the Skin

was there in first place!

To say I’m chuffed is an understatement. So thank you to Esther and congratulations to Stephanie Buosi and Suzanne Forman, my fellow winners.

Budge up, J.K – we’re on our way.




Writing Magazine competition win


Gold winners trophy

Image: Pixabay

Back in April, I entered a short story competition run by Writing Magazine. For those unfamiliar, it’s probably the biggest selling writing magazine in the UK, aimed at aspiring and professional authors.

I’ve entered a lot of their competitions over the years – I could wallpaper my spare room with the submissions they’ve rejected – and only been shortlisted twice, once for a short story and once for a novel extract.

The notification period for this one came and went and I experienced my usual emotions, telling myself it was fine not to have won – no, really, FINE – analysing why the story was bad, why my work wasn’t sodding good enough for those darn picky judges – again.

Then an email plinked into my inbox – congratulating me on my competition win.

And you know what, instead of being delighted, chuffed, bowled over my my own skill and talent – I assumed the email was fraudulent and forwarded it to a writer friend for a second opinion! 

Well, my loves, the story did win and has now been published in print and online – the link’s here for all who want a few minutes’ read. May I recommend making an event of it – perhapes fetching a nice cup of something hot and a biscuit (a Penguin for that retro feel, or perhaps a chocolate Hobnob for you dunkers)?

It feels like quite a milestone, after submitting to the magazine so often. Seeing the story there in print and reading the editor’s comments online was the most delightful thing I’ve experienced since I started writing.

And for those in the UK who want to feel the paper in your hands, do rush to your local WH Smith’s and buy a copy (October issue). Even if you don’t like my story, the rest of the mag is very good.

Happy reading all.

P.S A public thanks to Maureen (whose glorious poetry you can read here and here) and Jackie (a wonderfully talented short story writer), my writing group pals, without whose advice and feedback the story would not have won.